Sunday, March 6, 2011

School Spirit (Just Not My School)

Clearly, I was not a cheerleader in high school.
T-shirt: UNC bookstore
Skirt: LOFT
Shoes: Target
Necklace: LOFT outlet
Scarf as belt and earrings: Inherited from grandmother

For a bonus weekend post, I thought I'd talk a little about school spirit fashion. First, I need to say that I did not attend, nor do I work at, the University of North Carolina. I'm not sure how I feel about saying what school I actually work at on this blog; even though it's a big school, I work in a rather unique department and I don't think it would be hard for anyone to find real-life me with a little bit of research. So for now, I think I'll keep that to myself, even though I would really love to do a school spirit post in my own school colors. I think the same principles of fashionable school spirit apply no matter what your school colors are though.

I picked my UNC shirt for this because I have a soft spot for the Tar Heels. UNC was my first choice undergraduate school, although I didn't get in because it's pretty much impossible for non-North Carolinians. Plus, Carolina blue is an awesome color and easy to build an outfit around. I'm not gonna lie; the color was part of the reason I wanted to go there. Turns out the Tar Heels beat Duke in basketball last night, so it was a fortuitous choice.

Okay, enough rambling. Time for the outfit breakdown. Here's how to dress spiritedly without being in-your-face and tacky (something Southern college sports fans truly excel at):

Shirt: I like t-shirts with the university's name printed on them, but I tend towards the old school kind with just the name in block letters. I have one for my school that I've about worn out. These kinds of shirts are simple and a little retro, which I love. Here, I tucked the shirt in to give my waist a little more definition, and rolled up the sleeves to make them a little more feminine.

Skirt: Cute jeans or shorts would work equally well. It's 1000 degrees here in football season, so shorts or skirts are important for getting through noon games without dying of heat stroke. What you want to avoid are athletic shorts (save them for the gym) or ill-fitting jean shorts. In the South, jean shorts, especially on men, are shorthand for "redneck." Rival schools accuse each other of being jean shorts wearers (I'm seriously not making this up). I think they're okay on women as long as they fit appropriately - no skanky short shorts that barely cover your booty, no mom jeans.

Shoes: Comfortable shoes are important. I'm not a fan of wearing my gym sneakers to places other than the gym, although I did wear them to football games when I was a student because the entire student section at my school's football stadium stands for the entire game. Four hours on your feet in the blazing heat can convince you to wear pretty much anything. Now that I'm an alumna and get to sit, I can branch out a little. I still stick with flats, but nothing I would wear to zumba class.

Accessories: I like finding accessories that are in my school colors, but don't actually say my school's name or have a representation of our mascot. For example, I would not have worn earrings in the shape of footprints with tar on the heel for this outfit. It's easy to go to the school bookstore and buy whatever jewelry they have, but I think it takes a little more thought and effort to find pieces that say "school spirit" without being really obvious about it.

So there you have it. This is how I try to dress with school spirit. Having lived in a college town for eight years, I've had lots of time to think about this. What about y'all? How did you dress in college? If you are in grad school now, do you care about dressing in your school's colors?

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